A month after hitting a near-all-time-low, the Dealerscope CE Retail Confidence Index (DS Index) saw its largest ever month-over-month increase. Consumer electronics retailers checked in with a confidence score of 192.9 at the start of October, a 25-plus point gain over last month and more than 15 points higher on a year-over-year basis.
Remaining essentially in step with last year’s confidence level trends, the DS Index saw its largest confidence level increase of the year (and ever) as the calendar flipped from September to October. Though most identified slow foot traffic as the back-to-school shopping dies down and the holidays are still more than a month away, the positive economic status was seen as a main driver of confidence this month. Again, though, tariffs were worry for retailers, as more than half of those who responded to the DS Index survey said they were concerned about how consumers would responded to the ongoing trade war with China.
An interesting subnote in this month’s survey is that, for the first time, Big Box retailers were not bringing up the rear of the retail confidence train. Rather, they leapfrogged all other store types in October, leading the way with a confidence score of 198.49—more than 47 points higher than last month, and 28 points higher than their average score for the year. The most volatile segment of the CE retail industry according to Dealerscope’s data, Big Box stores have roared back over the past two months, signifying their lofty expectations heading into the final three months of the year.